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Roselle restaurant owner killed when van plows into strip mall

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A suburban man who worked hard and saved up to open his dream restaurant was killed when a van smashed into the building. (WLS)

A suburban man who worked hard and saved up to open his dream restaurant was killed when a van smashed into the building.

Gus Acuna worked for years in the restaurant industry, learning and saving money so he could open his own pizza place six years ago.


The married father of three was working in the kitchen at the time of the crash. All day, people have been coming to his restaurant to leave flowers in his honor.

"Just a very pleasant person. Very pleasant person. It's so sad and so unfortunate that this has happened," said Lorraine Johnson, a customer.

On Wednesday afternoon, a van plowed through the business located in a Roselle strip mall.

The driver, police say, apparently suffered a medical emergency. The vehicle left Irving Park Road and crossed a parking lot, crashing into a light pole and other vehicles, and then into the pizza place.

Acuna, who was in the kitchen, was struck and killed. Two other people were also hit, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

Relatives say the married father of three spent seven days a week at the business.

The Acuna family said in a statement: "He led by ambition and by taking risks. Demonstrating that hard work pays off in the end ... we are proud of what Gus was able to accomplish."

"It's a tragedy, and we don't understand a lot of things, but I just pray that God guide them through it," Johnson said.

Police have not said what type of medical emergency the driver suffered. That motorist has not been charged at this time, but the case is still being investigated.
Related Topics:
newscar into buildingman killedRoselle
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